Leamington Spa, or more correctly Royal Leamington Spa is a picturesque town in South Warwickshire in the heart of England, with a population of around fifty thousand people. Situated on the River Leam, it is a thriving centre for commerce, retail therapy and entertainment with a vast array of beautiful Georgian and Victorian architecture and a wonderful natural Spa in the elegant Pump Rooms.
Shops Leamington Spa
Offering a fantastic range of both High Street stores and smaller, independent shops, Leamington is the perfect destination for shoppers, both in and out of the town centre. Located just off The Parade in the centre of town is The Royal Priors shopping centre, and these two combine to provide an excellent choice of fashion, games, electrical items, furniture and eateries. Just a short drive away is The Shires Retail Park, providing visitors with the convenience of free parking while they shop.
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Hotels Leamington Spa
Being very centrally located in the middle of the country, Leamington is also an ideal base for a short break, with a host of popular and cultural destinations on its doorstep. Within minutes of places like Stratford upon Avon and Warwick, close to the larger cities of Birmingham and Coventry, and only a short drive from the Cotswolds, it’s hardly surprising that so many people choose to stay in Leamington each year. There are many types of accommodation available for visitors, from friendly and welcoming Bed and Breakfasts, Guest Houses, small, family-run hotels to larger hotel chains and motels on the edge of town. There are also a number of campsites not too far away, for the more adventurous at heart.
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And throughout the summer months, the plentiful hanging baskets and tubs of flowers found throughout the town, on buildings, street corners and roundabouts, ensure that Leamington is always a strong contender in the prestigious Britain in Bloom competitions. The beautiful colours and lovely scents make everyone who walks through Leamington, whether visitor or resident, very pleased to be here, and we look forward to welcoming you soon.
The town was originally a tiny village called Lamintone which was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Back then it was simply a 240 acre Manor with two mills, which passed through various hands including the Earl of Warwick, the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield and eventually to Geoffrey De Clinton, founder of Kenilworth Castle and Priory. His son presented the Estate to the Prior of Kenilworth, in whose name it remained for some three hundred years.
The town’s name changed over the centuries, becoming Leminton and then, in 1533 Lemynton Priors. The suffix of ‘Spa’ was probably used from the late eighteenth century, when the benefits of its saline springs were rediscovered and the building of the baths began around some of the sources. The town was honoured with its royal patronage by Queen Victoria in July 1838, and so its name became Royal Leamington Spa, as it is known today.
Back in 1783 the village was located entirely on the south of the River Leam and consisted of only 34 properties. The development of further properties to the north of the river didn’t start until the early nineteenth century when the discovery of a second mineral well on the north side helped to confirm that the development of the land would be a lucrative endeavour.
The town’s famous Pump Rooms were officially opened back in July 1814, making Spa treatment available for travellers from near and far who came to ‘take the waters,’ which was claimed to cure a huge number of disorders and ailments from stiffness of tendons to the effects of gout and rheumatism and various paralytic conditions.
This attraction paid handsome profits in its heyday, but by the middle of the nineteenth century the fashion for such interventions was in decline. Many dips and peaks in its fortunes followed, but eventually in 1996 the Pump Rooms were taken on by Warwick District Council, in collaboration with Warwickshire County Council, and Leamington’s Art Gallery, Museum and Library were relocated to the site. The Assembly Room within the Pump Rooms was then refurbished to provide a Tourist Information Centre and Café, and the finished building is now a major cultural and tourist attraction. Visitors to the museum can see displays about the historic use of the Pump Rooms and will also get the chance to sample the waters themselves.
The nearby Jephson Gardens are Grade II listed, and have undergone a £4.3million restoration themselves, which includes a sensory garden, refurbished boathouse, temperate glasshouse and a children’s play area. Perfect for enjoying an afternoon stroll, or why not visit the riverside restaurant or wonderfully restored Victorian tea-room.
The University of Warwick is only a bus ride away from Leamington Spa, and many of its undergraduates choose to live in Leamington, adding to the vibrant mix of backgrounds and cultures in the town. This contributes to the rich variety of pubs, clubs and restaurants to be found in the area, as the town has something to offer every visitor that passes this way.